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West Palm Beach to use $67 million to improve city parks

City plans to redesigned Currie Park
Currie Park in West Palm Beach
Posted at 4:12 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 17:45:20-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The city of West Palm Beach is investing $67 million into city parks, and leaders want the public's input on how the money should be spent.

Officials said residents will be the driving force in the investment process.

Tyre Taylor and 2-year-old Joe Joe come to Currie Park in West Palm Beach for a break from city life.

"We're getting in touch with nature," Taylor said.

Ike Green of West Palm Beach comes to Currie Park for a break from work.

"It's a peace of mind," Green said.

Fisherman at Currie Park
A fisherman casts his rod at Currie Park in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Nov. 4, 2020.

The 14-acre park on the Intracoastal Waterway offers a break for many other people, but the city's community development agency said they want to improve it.

"We would like to see the park activated and used much more often," said Christopher Roog, West Palm Beach CRA executive director.

Starting in December, the public will get a chance to weigh in on how to invest a portion of a $67 million parks bond into the park.

"The community will drive the vision of how the park is redesigned and reimagined because we want them to tell us how they will use this park and what will attract them to use it on a regular basis," Roog said.

Public activation surveys already taken reveal some immediate needs.

"I think you'll see an enhancement of access for watercraft, whether they’re motored or non motored, and overall fishing docks or marinas, things like that to really encourage waterfront activities," Roog said.

"That's a big, big, big deal to me," Taylor said.

The public engagement and visioning phase begins next month. There's also a plan to better link the park to the Northwood Village community.

"We're excited to work with Chen Moore on this project. The city, CRA and entire community have long anticipated the visioning and upgrades to such an important public asset in our city," said Mayor Keith A. James in a statement. "We are a world-class city, and we have a steadfast vision for our future. Investment in our public spaces is one of the attributes that sets us apart from other cities in our region and serves as a critical attractor for new talent and new businesses to choose West Palm Beach as home."

Click here to learn more about the project to improve the Northwood/Pleasant City district and the historic Northwest District.